Internet rallies around 6-year-old boy who had to celebrate his pizza-themed birthday party all alone because no one showed up
The mother had invited 32 of her son's classmates and their parents to celebrate his birthday at a restaurant but none of them came and the picture of his lonesome party went viral
6-year-old Teddy Mazzini from Arizona received a deluge of support from social media after a picture of him sitting all alone at his pizza-themed birthday party went viral. Teddy's mother, Sil, had invited 32 of his classmates and their parents to celebrate the child's birthday at Peter Piper Pizza restaurant in Tucson on October 21 afternoon but nobody showed up for it. Nick VinZant, a local news reporter, posted the photo of the boy sitting all alone surrounded by empty plates and asked all his followers to wish Teddy a happy birthday after the zero turnout.
The heartbreaking image was picked up by the community and gained more attention when the Phoenix Suns NBA team and the Phoenix Rising MLS team invited the pre-schooler to go and celebrate his birthday at their upcoming games. There was a tweet from the Suns that read: "How about we celebrate with thousands at our place! Tickets to Wednesday’s #SunsVSLakers game are all yours Teddy! Talk soon!" The Rising soccer team also offered the child tickets to a playoff game that will take place on October 26 and they gave him a personalized jersey as well. They wrote on Twitter: "Teddy can get The Mala from @VeneziasPizza and join 7,000 of his closest friends this Friday. Come on out Teddy! #UpRising."
Sil told ABC15 that she had sent out the 32 party invitations to her son's classmates and their parents in advance. The mother said that a few of them responded by saying they wouldn't be able to make it but the rest of the people who were invited just didn't show up. Sil jokes after the sad party: "I'm done with parties for a while."
Sil, however, said that the family put up its own celebration for Teddy on October 22 night by reading out to him all the birthday wishes he got after the photo she had given to the reporter went viral on the Internet. Tyler Hendrick, a Facebook user, commented on the picture saying: "From one friend to another: People are wonderful, but the quantity matters little. It is the quality of those you choose that matter. <3 Be happy and enjoy ALL that pizza!! That is the best part!"
William O'Brien, another social media user, commented: "Happy birthday my man. Once you realize happiness is from the inside stuff like this won’t hurt so bad. Wish I’d known I’d have made the drive to see you. Happy birthday lil fella."
Adam Burnside, a father, wrote a touching message for the devastated child: "Happy Birthday Teddy!!!! I'm a parent of two boys and would love to become friends with you guys! Teddy, I know this is hard to wrap your head around now but I hope your parents print these comments out and save them for you because there are 2 things I know in this short 35 years on this earth, #1 Very, very few people still have the friends they made in elementary school as they do as adults."
He continued: "#2 The best, best, best friends in the whole wide world came into my life at 28yr old and at 32yr old. Teddy, find something you love to do and be the best you can at it and most important, HAVE FUN!!!! You are only a kid once!!!! Much love and hugs!!!! Sincerely, Adam & The Burnside family.'
Even though there was a massive amount of support for Teddy on the Internet, there were those bad eggs that said his mother did all of this because she was shamelessly looking for attention. Kathy Van Hilsen wrote on Facebook: "Sounds like a poor attempt get sympathy and or gift using social media. I highly doubt if the mother planned the party correctly nobody would show up. Plus what Mother (sic) invites the entire class. She set him up for failure and then publicized her accomplishment to shame him more. Sad."
Nancy Niblett, another Facebook user, had the same type of concerns for Teddy. She wrote: "Something is wrong here. First of all why didn’t they ask for RSVP? And if they invited 32 classmates and their parents? No way none of them came if they really received invites, plus not much pizza was ordered for that many. We’ve had same happen after people rsvp’d but not 32!"
"Plus agree you don’t humiliate him even more. Parents either wanted attention and gifts or something by sending this to the news. Sorry for the innocent child here but would love to know the real truth here. Why are none of those parents responding saying something? Teacher or someone??!"
Latosha Hosko was pretty skeptical of the intentions and she said: "So let me get this right..his mom wants someone who sees this post to feel bad and start a GoFundMe to pay for what his mom put out for the party..ain't going to happen."
There were many more users on Facebook who also blamed media for propagating the depressing story at the expense of the heartbroken child. Aliesha Marie Knighton commented on the news station's Facebook post by saying: "Quick! Someone call the news, let’s embarrass this kid even more than he already is. Good lord. This is so wrong."
Amy Arakawa Tong, however, got to the heart of the matter and wrote a message of sympathy for Teddy saying: "Six years old and he will remember! If he stays at that school, this incident will follow him throughout his years at the school. Kids don’t forget."